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Pope: Europe 'always been in the vanguard' of ecological efforts

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In an address Tuesday before the European Parliament, Pope Francis spent a portion of his remarks addressing ecology, reminding the leaders of the continent's historical prominence in environmental protection and preservation. 

The speech focused on the theme of human dignity and human rights, and through that framework Francis addressed various issues, including the environment.

This Thanksgiving, taking two bites of everything

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Thanksgiving is supposed to be about the groaning table, laden with fats and sweets: first the fats, then the sweets, sprinkled with a few vegetables as the “sides.” 

Some argue that it is more about the leftovers, the leftover fats and sweets and sides and vegetables. Either way you define it -- as the original groan or the secondary groan -- Thanksgiving is a holiday losing its way, at least for me. 

Vatican mulling interfaith climate summit

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The Vatican is considering calling a meeting of religious leaders to bring awareness to the current state of the climate and social inequalities resulting from a warming, technologizing planet, ahead of two key United Nations meetings on climate and sustainability set for 2015. 

The news came toward the end of a speech by Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, who in London Nov. 10 gave the annual Pope Paul VI lecture for the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) -- the official Catholic aid agency for England and Wales.

Are we all Noahs?

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You wake up in the night. You wonder what’s gone wrong.

Did I really drive my car using up more fossil fuel yesterday? Will I drive it again tomorrow? Will my driving today destroy the world for my children tomorrow? What is wrong with me -- us --anyway?

Maybe we are all Noahs. Or at least our nightmares are his. Like Noah, we have become aware of God’s disappointment and wrath. Like Noah, we have heard the instruction to do something. We have wondered what took God so long to get mad. We have left a lot behind. We have followed divine orders.

Faith, greens and green buildings topics at Earthkeeping Summit

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“I wish I could live in that garden.” 

Such was the reaction of one happy little girl who had helped to tend and taste the luscious bounty of tomatoes, lettuce and carrots growing at the St. Vincent Family Center in Columbus, Ohio, last summer.

The 10-year-old had been participating in a learning garden for kids, sponsored by Growing Matters, a non-profit organization that teaches families in the inner city of Ohio’s state capital about growing food, good nutrition and cooking.

For 40 years, pastoral letters focus on sustaining Appalachian culture

Forty years since the bishops of Appalachia first called attention to the lives and struggles of people in the region, a new effort is underway to raise the voices of Appalachians celebrating their accomplishments and confronting their struggles.

Work is continuing on a new pastoral letter called the People's Pastoral. It is percolating from the Appalachians themselves and will reflect on their stories, struggles and hopes, said Jeannie Kirkhope, coordinator of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia, which is organizing the project.

Preview: The curse of existence vs the blessings of life in Congo's mines

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There are many places where the curse of existence seems to outweigh the blessing of life. The mining sector of the Democratic Republic of Congo is such a place. I have been in Kolwezi, a mining area in south Katanga Province, DRC, in the past and returned there in August. Knowing what to expect did not soften the reality of the harsh and perilous existence there.

Cardinal Turkson discusses meaning of 'vocation to agriculture'

Catholics, and not just farmers, should consider "what could be the meaning of a vocation to agriculture," said the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday as part of a conference in St. Paul called "Faith, Food & the Environment: The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader," Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson said Jesus expected those who listened to him to know about agriculture or at least be exposed to it.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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